Sabine van Heck
To find out whether the world of banking suited her, Sabine van Heck decided to do an internship at a bank at the end of her Master in Financial Economics, so she joined ABN Amro in the Corporate Finance department. While she was there, she initiated contact with ING for a traineeship.
‘ING’s in-house day for prospective trainees had fuelled my enthusiasm for ING. I was especially impressed by the opportunity to spend a year getting to know several different departments within Wholesale Banking and the chance to go abroad during the first year of the traineeship. You weren’t tied to one particular direction straight away. That’s different at other banks, where you have to choose a very specific direction from the start. ING also struck me as being very informal, open and diverse so I liked that immediately.
A great place to start
I utilised the opportunities well during my traineeship because I wanted to learn as much as possible about what goes on within the Wholesale bank. I did my first rotation with the Corporate Clients team for Energy & Infra. Corporate Clients is responsible for managing the relationships with the ‘large corporates’ – the big international companies in the Netherlands. This was a great place to start; I got to know a lot of different departments in a short space of time and I was able to see how they work together. As a trainee, you’re responsible for arranging your second rotation yourself. I found a position within Corporate Lending, the department that handles loans for large corporates. The analytical side of the work really appealed to me and it was a perfect fit with my master degree. In fact, it was such a good match that I now have a permanent role here as Portfolio Manager in the Telecom, Media & Technology team. It’s a very dynamic sector so it’s also very challenging and exciting. I hope to progress to the role of Transaction Manager with responsibility for a portfolio of large corporates based in the Netherlands.
To the Philippines
I also made full use of the opportunity to go abroad, after my second rotation and before starting in this role. I was really keen to go to Asia and I struck lucky – I could go to the Philippines. It was fantastic to experience a different set of dynamics and to see the cultural differences compared with the Netherlands. I find it really interesting that ING is also active in countries you wouldn’t expect and to see how things are done there. Unfortunately I was only there for a brief spell; I’d love to work abroad again but for a longer period next time. And in view of ING’s international network that’s definitely a realistic possibility in the future, perhaps as part of a short-term assignment (STA). ING encourages its employees to spend three months working in a different department – as a kind of internship – either in the Netherlands or elsewhere. I’m definitely going to raise this option with my manager. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my time here it’s that if you want something, you have to arrange it yourself. Everyone within ING is extremely willing to help you, but they won’t hand it to you on a plate. Plenty of initiative, your own network and personal contact with colleagues – those are all important factors if you want to get ahead, but they are also the things that make it such fun to work here!
Sabine gained her Bachelor in Business Economics in Groningen and her Master in Financial Economics in Rotterdam. She enjoys spending time with friends and she loves travelling, preferably outside of Europe although she also wouldn’t say no to a long weekend in Barcelona. Ideally she likes to combine travel with a temporary work posting. For her, the ultimate way of experiencing a new city in a foreign country is to spend a few months living there.